According to Nigeria’s ambitious broadband plan, the country will move its broadband penetration to 90% by 2025. It is a plan that needs a lot of things to fall into place for it to be achieved.
One of such things is infrastructure and the amount it costs telcos to lay fibre optic cables around the country. Those fibre cables cannot be laid without Right of Way (RoW) fees, which are determined independently by states.
RoW fees have always been expensive but last year, Nigeria’s 36 state governors agreed to a standardised fee of ₦145 per linear meter in an attempt to speed up broadband penetration.
In the one year since the agreement, things have not exactly gone to plan with only seven of the states going on to apply the new fees. 29 other states still charge top money for RoW.
Benue, Ogun and Lagos charge ₦2,500, ₦4,000, ₦750 per Linear Meter, way above the rates they agreed to
Will an MoU change things? This week, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) is looking at signing a Memorandum of Understanding with states to bring down RoW charges. The big question is, will a new agreement force the states to finally implement the new rates?